Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting

SNCASE S.E.212 (Durandal)

Prototype Fighter-Interceptor Aircraft

SNCASE S.E.212 (Durandal)

Prototype Fighter-Interceptor Aircraft


The SNCASE S.E.212 Durandal attempted to provide a viable mixed-propulsion interceptor aircraft - the program yielded just two prototypes.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: France
YEAR: 1956
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Societe Nationale des Constructions Aeronautiques du Sud-Est (SNCASE) - France
OPERATORS: France (cancelled)

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the SNCASE S.E.212 (Durandal) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 39.60 feet (12.07 meters)
WIDTH: 24.44 feet (7.45 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 10,086 pounds (4,575 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 14,771 pounds (6,700 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x SNECMA Atar 101F afterburning turbojet engine developing 9,700 lb of thrust with 1 x SEPR 75 rocket engine devliering and additional 1,653 lb of thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 1,035 miles-per-hour (1,665 kilometers-per-hour; 899 knots)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 39,000 feet-per-minute (11,887 meters-per-minute)

2 x 30mm DEFA internal cannons OR 1 x AA.20 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) OR 24 x 68mm SNEB rockets.
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets

Series Model Variants
• S.E.212 - Base Series Designation; two aircraft completed.


Detailing the development and operational history of the SNCASE S.E.212 (Durandal) Prototype Fighter-Interceptor Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/7/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
With the establishment of NATO in April of 1949, there arose a need for standardization among its members regarding various military tools. Among them were aircraft types which would come into play for a war against the Soviet Union over Europe. As such, authorities in 1953 called for a standardized lightweight fighter-bomber to stock inventories of member countries and keep Soviet bombers at bay. One result of this initiative - which was won by the Italian Fiat G.91 of 1958 - was the ultimately-cancelled French-made SNCASE (Sud-Est) SE.212 "Durandal", which ended as an intended dedicated fighter-interceptor.

One of the key qualities of the Durandal was a mixed-powerplant approach primarily relying on a turbojet engine backed by a rocket motor to achieve desired speeds. The overall design - evolved from work begun as early as 1951 by the French - was given a small-area, low-mounted wing mainplane featuring 60-degree sweep lines. The mainplanes were of a delta configuration which negated use of conventional horizontal tailplanes. The tail unit consisted of a triangular vertical fin with the engine exhaust ring fitted underneath. The cockpit was held well-forward of midships and the nose section given a slight nose-down attitude. The engine, buried within the fuselage mass, was aspirated by a circular intake at the nose. Propulsion was provided for by the SNECMA Atar 101F afterburning engine offering 8,377 lb of thrust. The rocket unit was a SEPR 75 motor providing its own 1,653 lb of thrust. The undercarriage was a conventional tricycle arrangement, fully-retractable. Airbrakes were fitted in pairs along the sides of the rear section of the fuselage, springing to action when called upon.

As an interceptor, it was seen that the SE.212 was to be armed with a sole R.052 or AA.20 air-to-air missile (along fuselage centerline). Alternatively the airframe could be outfitted with more conventional cannons (2 x 30mm DEFA systems) and even carry 24 x 68mm SNEB air-to-air rockets for bomber interception.

French authorities were interested in the SE.212 design enough to order a pair of prototypes, the first of these to fly on April 20th, 1956- though without its intended rocket unit. It was not until December 19th, of that year that the aircraft flew with its rocket motor functioning and, by this time, the original Atar 101F turbojet engine was succeeded by the Atar 101G series providing 9,700 lb of thrust. The second prototype went aloft on March 30th, 1957 and this example went on to be displayed at the 1957 Paris Air Show.

During testing that began in April of 1956, the pair recorded speeds reaching nearly 900 miles per hour - over Mach 1.0 - and, with the rocket motor activated, reached 1,036 miles per hour, or about Mach 1.57 at 38,000-39,000 feet.

Despite these results, the Durandal initiative faded into history as the program was ended during 1958 with just the two experimental vehicles being completed. Many "mixed-powerplant" fighter developments of the period ended their days as prototypes and nothing more - the concept was also of considerable interest to the Americans.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1100mph
Lo: 550mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,035mph).

    Graph average of 825 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world.

Facebook Logo